The Daily Artisan is all about living a more beautiful life by infusing creativity into our daily lives, and the best part is that we each get to define what “beautiful” means for us. Oftentimes, the smallest things can bring the most beauty and joy into our lives, and I recently read an early 1900s quote that really struck a chord on this note.
Born in 1865 in New York, Elsie de Wolfe is recognized as the first American interior designer (along with living a fascinating and colorful life including as an actress), and while her quote at the time likely was about interior design, it really has a much broader meaning related to beauty and creativity.
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”
– Elsie de Wolfe
We can’t always control the things around us but we can control how we see and react to them. Even bad things usually have at least some aspect of grace and beauty, if we’re only willing to see it. Sometimes making the decision to remove yourself from the difficult situation allows beauty and light to come into your life, and it’s an intentional way of living and thinking – much like Elsie de Wolfe’s quote.
Creativity can be so many positive things, and it’s not always about art, music and writing. You can live creatively by the way you think and come up with new ideas. You can live the creative lifestyle by learning new hobbies and skills. And, if your goal is to make the things around you creatively beautiful, the sky is the limit!
Today’s Creative Experiment
An opportunity for creativity presented itself today, and although I hadn’t planned it as the subject of my blog post for The Daily Artisan, I changed my mind.
This afternoon, my chores included going to Walmart to get home supplies like paper towels and toothpaste, and literally as I walked through the doors, the first thing I saw was the refrigerator case of flowers for sale.
After Sunday’s flowers episode, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to stop and look, but of course I did. The flowers were pretty although nothing screamed “fancy” about them, but this didn’t stop me from wanting some.
My creative challenge would be to take something seemingly ordinary and showcase its true beauty – and I found the perfect flowers for this!
Sometimes I buy expensive flowers that don’t require as much imagination to photograph them pretty, and other times like today I’ll purchase inexpensive ones that when you look closely, are just as beautiful in their own right.
But the initial impression they make can be a tad uninspiring!
In this photograph, I’ve shown what the $4.78 Walmart flowers looked like when I got them home in a vase to stand up for an initial shot. They are very long, and made up of more stems and leaves than flowers.
It’s okay if you’re thinking, “Hmmm … weeds?” I get it, but they really are pretty up close – you’ll see!
Driving home I had decided to do two things – (1) shoot the flowers with a close-up, macro lens to show that first appearances can be deceiving, and (2) style a scene that would include the flowers; a small burlap bag; a Shakespeare book I used years ago in college as an English Literature major; the matching jumble of ribbon I’ve used in some other recent photographs; and a pair of antique eyeglasses (bi-focals, no less) that belonged to one of my ancestors in the Evans family (and the case from an A.K. Hawkes Company at 14 Whitehall Street in Atlanta, Georgia).
Challenge accepted! Game on!
The Beautiful $4.78 Flowers!
The photographs I took this afternoon are shown below as close-up flowers and also as part of the styled scene, and I think you’ll agree that while they may have cost only $4.78, they’re beautiful with intricate colors, petals, and buds!
Spending time with my ancestor’s antique eyeglasses made me interested in learning more about the manufacturer’s name on the case, A.K. Hawkes Company. My online research yielded this advertisement from 1912, and I read that the optician would visit drug stores in Georgia towns to fit people for glasses! (By the way, what an odd line about glasses and pebbles…)
Enjoy the flowers – and remember to use your creative skills to make life beautiful all around you. Even the smallest, most unassuming things can bring great beauty and joy!
What’s something you do that’s uniquely creatively YOU? Please comment below!